What To Do About the Run Game?

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What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Cliff » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:59 pm

PHP and I started having this conversation in the Rhodes thread. I wanted to continue it without highjacking so I've created this. It touches on what is arguably the team's biggest weakness and I think deserves it's own thread.
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:04 pm
As for offense, I just hope that Flip isnt saying "oh we're playing Tom Brady, we gotta throw non-stop and go toe to toe with him". Run the damn ball or Belichik is going to eat you alive.
Cliff wrote:I've got mixed feelings about this. I understand the value or the running game and want to see it more ... but it's also basically saying "we need to use the weakest link on the team more!". The team averages 3.9 yards per rush which ranks just shy of last. How much more do we really want them to run it?

Additionally, we've got one of the best receiving corps in the league and just used a lot of resources on a good QB. Tom Brady is an all time great to be sure but his weapons aren't great right now. If we can't go toe to toe on offense with just about any team given the weapons there what was the point of getting Cousins? Cousins is also beating Brady in nearly every statistical category.
Pondering Her Percy wrote:Here's the problem, we have VERY good RBs. TWO of them no less. It's not like we're fielding Matt Asiata. These guys are volume backs. More so Murray than Cook. Murray isnt going to have 5 carries for 65 yards. He needs volume. He's a poor man's AP. Cook can explode at any point but also, needs to touch the ball more. Find ways to run the football! Not just bury it up the gut and hope for the best. Flip needs to be creative here.

We signed Cousins to elevate this offense but Cousins doesnt need to carry the weight. It's not like it's only him and he's surrounded by dud RBs and/or WRs. We established enough run game vs. GB with 5-6 yard gains early. That alone keeps the defense honest. By straying away from that, we become one dimensional and it puts Cousins at a higher risk given how poor our OL is. If we establish a run game, it makes our play action DEADLY. And there is nobody better at hiding the ball on play action than Cousins.

Again, if we had Asiata out there, I would say yeah, Kirk is gonna have to carry the load. But we have two studs and arguably the best tandem out there that have gotten WAY less volume than pretty much any other RBs out there. These guys can break a game wide open. Matt Asiata couldnt. I mean the Seahawks have the #1 run offense in the NFL. Wilson helps that but still, there is not a single RB on that team that is better than Cook or Murray. AND they have a worse OL than we do. So nobody should be saying it cant be done (not saying you are). This is a Flip problem and a Flip problem only.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Cliff » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:25 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:Here's the problem, we have VERY good RBs. TWO of them no less. It's not like we're fielding Matt Asiata. These guys are volume backs. More so Murray than Cook. Murray isnt going to have 5 carries for 65 yards. He needs volume. He's a poor man's AP. Cook can explode at any point but also, needs to touch the ball more. Find ways to run the football! Not just bury it up the gut and hope for the best. Flip needs to be creative here.

We signed Cousins to elevate this offense but Cousins doesnt need to carry the weight. It's not like it's only him and he's surrounded by dud RBs and/or WRs. We established enough run game vs. GB with 5-6 yard gains early. That alone keeps the defense honest. By straying away from that, we become one dimensional and it puts Cousins at a higher risk given how poor our OL is. If we establish a run game, it makes our play action DEADLY. And there is nobody better at hiding the ball on play action than Cousins.

Again, if we had Asiata out there, I would say yeah, Kirk is gonna have to carry the load. But we have two studs and arguably the best tandem out there that have gotten WAY less volume than pretty much any other RBs out there. These guys can break a game wide open. Matt Asiata couldnt. I mean the Seahawks have the #1 run offense in the NFL. Wilson helps that but still, there is not a single RB on that team that is better than Cook or Murray. AND they have a worse OL than we do. So nobody should be saying it cant be done (not saying you are). This is a Flip problem and a Flip problem only.
I know what you say is true in theory. Give them enough attempts and they'll break something but I'm not sure that's reality behind this offensive line. It seems like he's passing to set up the run instead of vice-versa. Take the GB game for example. The first two drives they came out passing. I think they had one run combined on those drives. The 3rd drive they came out running instead and it was effective.

I don't know what the answer is exactly but something definitely needs to change ... if it can. If it's a volume issue that's easy enough but my fear is that a higher volume of run plays would just result in a higher volume of 3 and outs.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:38 pm

Cliff wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:25 pm
Pondering Her Percy wrote:Here's the problem, we have VERY good RBs. TWO of them no less. It's not like we're fielding Matt Asiata. These guys are volume backs. More so Murray than Cook. Murray isnt going to have 5 carries for 65 yards. He needs volume. He's a poor man's AP. Cook can explode at any point but also, needs to touch the ball more. Find ways to run the football! Not just bury it up the gut and hope for the best. Flip needs to be creative here.

We signed Cousins to elevate this offense but Cousins doesnt need to carry the weight. It's not like it's only him and he's surrounded by dud RBs and/or WRs. We established enough run game vs. GB with 5-6 yard gains early. That alone keeps the defense honest. By straying away from that, we become one dimensional and it puts Cousins at a higher risk given how poor our OL is. If we establish a run game, it makes our play action DEADLY. And there is nobody better at hiding the ball on play action than Cousins.

Again, if we had Asiata out there, I would say yeah, Kirk is gonna have to carry the load. But we have two studs and arguably the best tandem out there that have gotten WAY less volume than pretty much any other RBs out there. These guys can break a game wide open. Matt Asiata couldnt. I mean the Seahawks have the #1 run offense in the NFL. Wilson helps that but still, there is not a single RB on that team that is better than Cook or Murray. AND they have a worse OL than we do. So nobody should be saying it cant be done (not saying you are). This is a Flip problem and a Flip problem only.
I know what you say is true in theory. Give them enough attempts and they'll break something but I'm not sure that's reality behind this offensive line. It seems like he's passing to set up the run instead of vice-versa. Take the GB game for example. The first two drives they came out passing. I think they had one run combined on those drives. The 3rd drive they came out running instead and it was effective.

I don't know what the answer is exactly but something definitely needs to change ... if it can. If it's a volume issue that's easy enough but my fear is that a higher volume of run plays would just result in a higher volume of 3 and outs.
I understand what you're saying but answer me this, how does Seattle do it and we cant? A team with RBs nowhere near the talent of Cook or Murray and with arguably a worse offensive line. That's what makes me think it's Flip top to bottom. Not finding ways to get the run game going. He said "we want it in the hands of our playmakers". Well outside of Diggs and Thielen, your next two playmakers are in your backfield.

Side note: I saw it ONE time this year where Flip put both Cook and Murray in the backfield. How do we not do that more often? You know how tough it would be to scheme for? It would throw NE completely off. Having to account for Diggs, Thielen, Cook and Murray all at the same time :shock: Do a split back set with both of them back there. Can run it out of the gun or from under center. You can get counters going, jet sweeps, fake jet sweeps, get either WR a few more carries, dives and power plays to either side and the D would have no idea where it's going to come from.

F*** Flip put me out there, I want to implement this offense now!!!! :lol: :lol: Sorry got super excited about that idea for a second
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Mothman » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:44 pm

Cliff wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:25 pm
I know what you say is true in theory. Give them enough attempts and they'll break something but I'm not sure that's reality behind this offensive line. It seems like he's passing to set up the run instead of vice-versa. Take the GB game for example. The first two drives they came out passing. I think they had one run combined on those drives. The 3rd drive they came out running instead and it was effective.

I don't know what the answer is exactly but something definitely needs to change ... if it can. If it's a volume issue that's easy enough but my fear is that a higher volume of run plays would just result in a higher volume of 3 and outs.
They have to find a way to be unpredictable about it and they need the OL to step up but Mike is right, they have the backs to do it and becoming too one-dimensional is a recipe for bad results.

Here's something to throw into the mix: Cousins has attempted 40+ passes in 6 games this season. The Vikings record in those 6 games is 1-4-1. Obviously, that's a very simplistic stat because plenty of other factors contributed to those wins and losses but it's difficult to win consistently in the NFL when the offense is dramatically imbalanced.

Sometimes, it's the attempts that are important, even if the production isn't always there. The running game can help with clock management, buy additional time for the defense to rest, reduce pressure off the QB by not allowing defenses just tee off every down and even help set up passing plays.

It might be suicidal to go up against the Pats and essentially bail on the run.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Cliff » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:07 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:38 pm
I understand what you're saying but answer me this, how does Seattle do it and we cant?
I'd say they're not. They're having some success rushing but their stats are high because they're just as unbalanced as the Vikings just on the other end of the spectrum. They're also kind of being forced into rushing. They're 31st in passing attempts in the league and have the most rushing attempts because they can't give Wilson enough time to pass. The Vikings were in that position for a lot of years with Peterson, I don't miss it.
A team with RBs nowhere near the talent of Cook or Murray and with arguably a worse offensive line.
Arguably to who though? After week 6 football outsiders has their offensive line ranked 13th (Vikings 32nd). https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol

PFF has them at 20th and us at 29th. https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/p ... er-week-10
That's what makes me think it's Flip top to bottom. Not finding ways to get the run game going. He said "we want it in the hands of our playmakers". Well outside of Diggs and Thielen, your next two playmakers are in your backfield.

Side note: I saw it ONE time this year where Flip put both Cook and Murray in the backfield. How do we not do that more often? You know how tough it would be to scheme for? It would throw NE completely off. Having to account for Diggs, Thielen, Cook and Murray all at the same time :shock: Do a split back set with both of them back there. Can run it out of the gun or from under center. You can get counters going, jet sweeps, fake jet sweeps, get either WR a few more carries, dives and power plays to either side and the D would have no idea where it's going to come from.

F*** Flip put me out there, I want to implement this offense now!!!! :lol: :lol: Sorry got super excited about that idea for a second
I'm guessing you don't see those formations much because we have to leave blocking backs in to make up for our offensive line decencies :?

If it's Flip hopefully he can correct it. The Vikings run it roughly 38% of their snaps and it's kind of a chicken/egg argument. Did they stop running because it didn't work, or does it not work because they don't run enough?
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Maelstrom88 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:11 pm

Well first of all the offensive line is a major issue. I did like how they incorporated Diggs on the jet sweep as it opens up opportunities later to pound up the gut. I think using Cook in this fashion is also a good idea. I can't remember us utilizing bootlegs very often. Wilson does present a huge problem to the defense with his legs. However, in the off-season there needs to bea big emphasis on getting better blockers in here.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Cliff » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:21 pm

Mothman wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:44 pm
They have to find a way to be unpredictable about it and they need the OL to step up but Mike is right, they have the backs to do it and becoming too one-dimensional is a recipe for bad results.

Here's something to throw into the mix: Cousins has attempted 40+ passes in 6 games this season. The Vikings record in those 6 games is 1-4-1. Obviously, that's a very simplistic stat because plenty of other factors contributed to those wins and losses but it's difficult to win consistently in the NFL when the offense is dramatically imbalanced.

Sometimes, it's the attempts that are important, even if the production isn't always there. The running game can help with clock management, buy additional time for the defense to rest, reduce pressure off the QB by not allowing defenses just tee off every down and even help set up passing plays.

It might be suicidal to go up against the Pats and essentially bail on the run.
I'm not advocating getting rid of the run game altogether but how much more inventive can they really get here? It seems like any time they try something "cute" it works about 1 out of 10 times.

I may go back and check out the plays for the losses where he threw 40+ times. They were down 20-7 going into the 4th of the Packers game so that of course requires pretty heavy passing. The Rams put up 21 points in the 2nd quarter - the Vikings basically trailed the entire game. Same with the Bills - they were down the entire game.

The running game isn't effective enough to stick with when the team is down points. When they're in a position to do so it seems like they do keep it more balanced.

Maybe they're "giving up" too quickly?
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by mansquatch » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:57 pm

I think you need to look at the whole a bit here:

We also have a two legitimate Pro-bowl WR and a good to very good TE. You also just added a top 10 QB. You are going to want to feed that beast also.

On top of this you have a very strong speed/scat type RB in Cook as well as a change of pace bruiser back in Latavius Murray. So there are lot of spoons in the bowl of cereal, so to speak.

The challenge is we started the season starting a backup LG and a "worst case" starter at RG. So our ability to move people up front is limited at best. Even Elflein is better suited to pull and find people in space vs moving a NT off the LOS. We also have a pocket that tend to collapse quickly due to weaknesses at both guard spots as well as RT. Or TLDR: We really miss Easton and Berger.

IMO the Vikings have failed in a few areas:
They have struggled to give the running game it's due, there was far too much focus on passing early this season.
The running game has struggled not just with blocking, but I think also with both play calling and play design. They are struggling to make this work with the current composition of the OL. I know it is bad, but these guys are pros, they should be able to figure something out.
So far DeFelippo has been a total disaster against teams with talented Defensive Lines. Enter the BUF and CHI games.

DeFelippo has a times seemed to fail to grasp the idea of complimentary football and the flow of the game.

This last one I want to expand on a bit. I think he had to throw 70% of the time early because the defense was not doing it's job. However, that should have transitioned smoother than it did. Once the Defense found it's footing, it felt like the offense was still a pass happy mess. My question is why did this take so long? Seems like bad communication from the top here. Flip should also be able to figure this out without being told, he is a pro after all.

On the same note, the complimentary football thing has been a big deal, especially against strong defensive teams. IMO, they should have known going into Chicago that their line was not going to be up to Mack and Hicks and that defensive front. It was obvious to ANYBODY watching that this unit is beastly and our OL is not. Yet we went into that game passing, taking longer drops, and with really NO IDEA on how to run effectively against them. Also, we did not do the tried and true method teams use to beat dominant defenses: Wear them out and score in the 4Q. This is how competent offensive teams have dealt with the Jaguars. So to this point, why didn't we run tempo, play conservatively, and try to wait the Bears out. Our Defense held Trubisky to 14 points in that game. Very bad game planning on this front. Flip should have known to dial it back in this game.

The Buffalo game was just embarassing on this theme if we are really honest. Why take risks with the football against such a bad team? They should have played it safe on offense as turnovers were the ONLY way the Bills would beat us with Josh Allen. Instead we let them have 27 points on short fields. Just UGH.

As has been a recurring theme for me this season, I really feel like the OC has not consistently put them in the best position to win. I think he needs to improve for the rushing game to get better.

The GB game seemed to show them coming together a bit better, but let's be really honest here. The 2018 GB team is not good. Their defense is a joke, they were starting rookies in the secondary and their best DL, Daniels, was injured. That was an easy game for our offense. Belicik is not going to be easy and neither are the Seachickens. I'm happy we won, but Flip still needs to show us he can get it done against competitive opposition. So far his performance has been lack luster.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Mothman » Tue Nov 27, 2018 5:23 pm

Cliff wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:21 pm
I'm not advocating getting rid of the run game altogether but how much more inventive can they really get here? It seems like any time they try something "cute" it works about 1 out of 10 times.
I didn't intend my use of "unpredictable" to imply trick plays. I just meant run the ball in some expected passing situations, run some draws, traps, etc.

I think one of their biggest issues is simply their lack of commitment to running it.

I also think Murray might be their best runner right now. Cook offers more speed and versatility but if they want to get their ground game going, I think they should lean on Murray and try to get him 18-20 carries.
I may go back and check out the plays for the losses where he threw 40+ times. They were down 20-7 going into the 4th of the Packers game so that of course requires pretty heavy passing. The Rams put up 21 points in the 2nd quarter - the Vikings basically trailed the entire game. Same with the Bills - they were down the entire game.
Sure, but trailing by 21 in the second quarter or trailing the entire game aren't good reasons not to run the ball. There's plenty of time left in both scenarios. Sometimes, bailing on the run even digs you a deeper hole. I think they've shown a lack of commitment to the run all season. DeFilippo has given very little indication that he has the patience to stick with it if he doesn't get good results early and he seems to move away from it quickly when trailing.
The running game isn't effective enough to stick with when the team is down points. When they're in a position to do so it seems like they do keep it more balanced.

Maybe they're "giving up" too quickly?
I think that's exactly what they're doing and I understand why but bailing on the run when there's plenty of time left is allowing panic (or at least impatience) to win over patience. Stick with it, let the defense get a little rest and count on them to deliver and keep the game within reach.

Sometimes, the attempts are worth it even if the results are bad.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by VikingLord » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:04 pm

Here are the keys to running in the NFL:

A) Don't get too far behind, especially early
B) See A)

Running the ball is a matter of execution. Execution coupled with preparation and appropriate adjustments should enable almost any pro team to run the ball effectively. By "effectively", I mean in a way that produces 2nd and 3rd downs that favor the offense's ability to maintain the drive. It doesn't mean the team has to rank near the top of the NFL in terms of rushing yardage or even rushing average. It just means when they run, they pick up the yardage they need most of the time.

So why can't the Vikings run it more effectively?

I think most of the problems this team has had running have a lot more to do with A) and B) listed above than anything else. When the team falls behind early, as they have in several game this year, and then need a lot of points in short order to get back into games, they simply can't run all that often. I think the stats back that up to some degree. The Vikings currently rank 28th in total rushing attempts. Conversely, they rank 3rd in terms of passing attempts. That disparity doesn't exist because the Vikings just prefer to throw it. After all, that same supposedly talent-deficient offensive line is pass blocking for all of those passing attempts, and the team is doing pretty well there. I think a lot of the disparity comes from the fact that in too many games, the team simply isn't showing up early and/or making enough critical errors earlier in games that they are being forced to pass and abandon the running game.

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt yet. I would not be surprised to see the run game look much better in December and become more of a strength going forward provided the team avoids early deficits that lead to the lopsided playcalling required to get back into contention late in games.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Mothman » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:46 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:04 pm
Here are the keys to running in the NFL:

A) Don't get too far behind, especially early
B) See A)

Running the ball is a matter of execution. Execution coupled with preparation and appropriate adjustments should enable almost any pro team to run the ball effectively. By "effectively", I mean in a way that produces 2nd and 3rd downs that favor the offense's ability to maintain the drive. It doesn't mean the team has to rank near the top of the NFL in terms of rushing yardage or even rushing average. It just means when they run, they pick up the yardage they need most of the time.

So why can't the Vikings run it more effectively?

I think most of the problems this team has had running have a lot more to do with A) and B) listed above than anything else. When the team falls behind early, as they have in several game this year, and then need a lot of points in short order to get back into games, they simply can't run all that often.
I've never understood that thinking. I can't think of a game this year where they were so far behind in the first half that they couldn't afford to stick with the running game if they had simply had the commitment to do it. Maybe by the time they were down 27 to Buffalo but most of the time there's just no need for a team to become one-dimensional when they fall behind early. There's time to remain balanced. What's really necessary at that point is for the defense to step up and keep things from getting worse. For example, if an opponent goes up 21-0 in the first quarter, as long as the defense stiffens, even if the offense only manages to score 7 points by halftime, that leaves a manageable 14 point deficit to overcome in the second half. An NFL team that's executing can manage that in less than a quarter.

When a team abandons the run because they fell behind early, they're often opening themselves up to a blowout. By becoming one-dimensional, they increase the likelihood of sacks and turnovers, which can easily help a game get out of hand.
I think the stats back that up to some degree. The Vikings currently rank 28th in total rushing attempts. Conversely, they rank 3rd in terms of passing attempts. That disparity doesn't exist because the Vikings just prefer to throw it.
I think that's clearly the main reason it exists. It's definitely a choice to get away from the run early, regardless of the score and they haven't faced enough late-game comeback scenarios to account for the degree of imbalance.

Personally, I think the 2 biggest keys to running in the NFL are:

1.) Commitment
2.) Blocking

The Vikes seem lacking in both areas.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by PurpleMustReign » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:03 pm

I remember last season when everyone was ragging on Murray, and PHP kept telling us that he needs more carries and gets better with time. Especially toward the end of the year, that was a very accurate sratement. Most of the games that Murray has 70+ yards is because he got better as the game went on. My point is... Even if they are down by 17 before halftime, they need to stick to the running game and not abandon it. I would like to see at least 25 rushing attempts.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by S197 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:32 pm

Fundamentally, this team struggles to run the football because our lineman can't block. You can tweak the scheme here and there but at the end of the day, the biggest problem is our RB's are getting hit in the backfield almost 50% of the time. How many times have we seen a 1st down run go for a yard or even backwards? The difference between 2nd and 9/10 vs 2nd and 6/7 is absolutely huge.

There's really only 1 team in the NFL right now that throws a ton successfully and that's Pittsburgh. The next five on the list are Minnesota, the Colts, Falcons, Green Bay, and Detroit. All of them are struggling.

Now if you look at the truly dynamic offenses in the NFL, the Chiefs, the Rams, and the Saints, they all have a great running game to compliment their passing attack. Mahommes is at #9, Goff is #12, and Brees is #17 in pass attempts. There was a lot of talk about Brees looking past his prime and now he looks great again because Kamara and Ingram make such a big difference. Even the Chargers who have been on a long win streak sit right next to NO in passing.

I just don't see a pass first or even a pass heavy offense being sustainable over the long run. There's too much parity in the NFL to beat defenses with a one dimensional offense.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by J. Kapp 11 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:40 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:38 pm
I understand what you're saying but answer me this, how does Seattle do it and we cant? A team with RBs nowhere near the talent of Cook or Murray and with arguably a worse offensive line.
Just for the record, Seattle's offensive line is miles, and I do mean MILES better than ours. They were bad in the past, but that is definitely yesterday's news. D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy came over in free agency to solidify the guard positions, and Germain Ifedi is a young tackle who has really taken a step forward. There's a very good chance he makes the Pro Bowl. And their new offensive line coach, Mike Solari, has done wonders with this unit. They rank near the top of the league in almost every category, not just in the running game. They've allowed the fewest pressures and lowest pressure rate in the league, which is why you see less and less of Russell Wilson running all over the place.

Also, their running backs are no joke. Chris Carson, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny have all rushed for 100 yards or more this season. Carson is a beast.

Put Seattle's line in front of Cousins and our backs, and we'd rarely lose.

We have to find a way to win with the line we have, but I don't think running 35 times a game is going to be the way to do it. That being said, I do believe we need to be more balanced, much like we were against the Packers. If we even get to 60-40 passing, with a little bit of effectiveness on that 40 percent, we'll be lots better. Also, the modern screen game is replacing a lot of the running game. We had been terrible in the screen game this season until last Sunday. Zimmer said he wanted an emphasis on it, and it paid dividends. For a team like ours, a lot of our success in the "running game" is going to come on screens. And Dalvin Cook is the perfect man to pitch it to, especially when you can get Pat Elflein out in front of him.
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Re: What To Do About the Run Game?

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Nov 28, 2018 9:01 am

J. Kapp 11 wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:40 pm
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:38 pm
I understand what you're saying but answer me this, how does Seattle do it and we cant? A team with RBs nowhere near the talent of Cook or Murray and with arguably a worse offensive line.
Just for the record, Seattle's offensive line is miles, and I do mean MILES better than ours. They were bad in the past, but that is definitely yesterday's news. D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy came over in free agency to solidify the guard positions, and Germain Ifedi is a young tackle who has really taken a step forward. There's a very good chance he makes the Pro Bowl. And their new offensive line coach, Mike Solari, has done wonders with this unit. They rank near the top of the league in almost every category, not just in the running game. They've allowed the fewest pressures and lowest pressure rate in the league, which is why you see less and less of Russell Wilson running all over the place.

Also, their running backs are no joke. Chris Carson, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny have all rushed for 100 yards or more this season. Carson is a beast.

Put Seattle's line in front of Cousins and our backs, and we'd rarely lose.
I have to respectfully disagree here Kapp. And this is where I also disagree with PFF. Outside of Duane Brown at LT, Seattle's line is brutal. PFF has Fluker at a 52.1 and the #63 OG, JR Sweezy at a 45.0 and #74 OG, Germain Ifedi at a 54.0 and #68 OT and Justin Britt at a 45.1 and #34 center. These are VERY poor grades across the board for all 4 of them. Sweezy hasnt been good for a few years now, Fluker has been one of the worst pass blocking guards for quite some time now, Ifedi has came on some but is still a below average RT and Britt has been middle of the road at best as a center. But somehow they have their OL ranked at "19th". This is mainly due to their success in the run game. From a pass blocking standpoint, it's beyond scary and much worse than our OL.

For example, surprisingly, our OL ranks SIXTH in the NFL when you look at adjusted sack rate at 5.4%. Seattle's ranks 29th at 9.5%. Thats a HUGE difference. Also, Kirk Cousins has thrown 447 passes. That ranks 2nd in the entire NFL only behind Big Ben. Russell Wilson ranks 25th with 309 attempts and the only guys below him are guys like Rosen, Darnold or QBs that have split time or missed time like Winston/Fitz, Mariota/Gabbert, etc. Cousins has had 138 MORE attempts than Russell Wilson and has been sacked SIX less times. Cousins has been sacked 28 times and Wilson has been sacked 34. No less, Wilson is WAY more mobile than Cousins is. I'm not saying our OL is good by any means, but maybe our OL isnt nearly as bad as we think when it comes to pass blocking given the statistics. Case Keenum has 481 attempts ALL of last year. Cousins nearly has that beat and there is still 6 games to go. We are throwing more than we ever have. And in turn, it risks being sacked or pressured more which is what it SEEMS like to us. But after looking at the adjusted sack rate, I dont really think that's the case. Imagine if Cousins was on pace to throw 481 balls like Keenum. We'd have even less than 28 sacks at this point. Cousins is on pace for 640 passes roughly. That crushes Keenums numbers. No wonder everyone thought the OL was much better last year and that Keenum was so "mobile". They didnt throw it nearly as much as we do now. I proved that point in another thread that Keenum has been sacked 2 less times than Cousins has and Cousins, of all QBs, has WAY more rushing yards on the year than Keenum does. And Keenum has over 50 less passes than Cousins does this year. He's really not that much better than Cousins is in the pocket when you break everything down.

If Kirk Cousins had Seattle's OL here, had this same offense and still threw his 447 passes to this point, he would have been sacked 47 times as of right now. FORTY SEVEN!! With 6 more games to go. Kirk Cousins would probably be in an ambulance if he had Seattle's OL here. Do you want to know what that would result in if he played a full season behind Seattle's OL. 67 sacks!! I dont know what the record is in a season but I would imagine that number would shatter it. THAT'S how bad Seattle's OL is when it comes to pass blocking. And let's be honest, it would probably be even more than that because Wilson bails that OL out of way more sacks than you think. If there was a less mobile QB behind that OL, they'd give up way more than 34 sacks at this point in the season.

Guys like Sweezy and Fluker have FAR from solidified their guard positions. They are two very bad pass blocking guards. If Ifedi makes the pro bowl, then Brian O'Neill should. Because he's been 10 times the pass blocker Ifedi is this year. We'd lose a lot this year with Seattle's OL. Adjusted sack rates dont lie and Seattle's is very bad. I mean 138 LESS passes for Wilson and he's been sacked 6 more times than Cousins. Think about that. That's a monster difference. 138 passes is 5 games for Russell Wilson. Technically, Kirk Cousins is 5 games ahead of Russell Wilson in pass attempts and Russell Wilson has been sacked 6 more times and is one of the most mobile QBs in the league. That's crazy.

EDIT: David Carr has the record for most sacks in a season with 76. Cousins would be around 67 with Seattle's OL here. And that number would probably elevate given he's not nearly as mobile as Wilson.

Seattle's OL might be better run blocking than our OL is, but pass blocking, it's not even close. They have one of the worst pass blocking OL's that this league has seen in a while. And it's all hidden because Russell Wilson is only passing the ball 28 times a game. He's tied for 4th in the NFL for sacks taken with 34, imagine if he was throwing 447 times by week 13. He'd shatter that 34 sack mark. It would be 13-14 sacks MORE at their current rate of 9.5% and result in 47-48 sacks by week 13 and roughly 67 sacks given up on the year.

Dont take the capital letters the wrong way, you know me, that's just how I stress my points :D
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